California Clingfish

California Clingfish (Gobiesox rhessodon)

Contributed by TPERP Dan Wieder

California Clingfish
Photo by Samantha Weber

Where to find them: From central California to southern Baja California in Mexico

What do they eat: Small crustaceans, worms and molluscs

Who eats them: The clingfish blends in with its surroundings making it hard for predators, such as gulls at low tide, to attack.

Adaptations: These fish are small, about 2 inches in length. They have flattened bodies that vary in color with the surroundings. Most are orange, black or gray with three light colored crossbands.

Reproduction: Eggs are attached under rocks and cobble and guarded by a parent

What is their life like: Live on the undersides of rocks and hides within seaweed in the lower intertidal

Interesting facts: Have an adhesive suction disk on their lower surface, formed by their pelvic fins and a fold of skin


Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gobiesociformes
Family: Gobiesocidae

Sources of Information:

Edward F. Ricketts, Calvin, J., and Hedgpeth, J.W. Between Pacific Tides. Fifth Edition. 1939, renewed in 1985. Stanford University Press.

Last revised 08-Sep-14